Wild vs Farm-Raised Salmon

Here is some must-know info about wild vs. farm-raised salmon: Much of the fish sold as “wild” is actually farm-raised. The abundance of fresh wild salmon in the winter, which is off-season for fish, should be questioned. Wild and farmed salmon fillets and steaks look similar because farmed fish are fed artificial coloring that makes them pink. Lab testing confirms the difference between wild and farmed. We’re not only paying more than twice as much for “wild” salmon, but it is also touted to be healthier. A study of popular NYC stores in 2005 revealed that much of the fish was mis-labeled and the consumer is being misled. But the problem is not exclusive to NYC. All across the US, farm raised salmon is being sold as “wild,” or “organic.” Organic is a meaningless description in this context. Of note, East Coast wild salmon is almost extinct and West Coast wild salmon is controlled by quotas and is diminishing as well. This results in farmed fish providing 90% of sales in the U.S. Scientific studies have reported that farmed salmon contains more contaminants such as PCBs than wild salmon. So the issue is not just that we’re overpaying, but that we are exposing ourselves to toxins. Can the consumer tell the difference? Farmed salmon is lighter and more pink. Wild salmon has a deeper reddish-orange color. Farmed fish also has more fatty marbling in its flesh, It may be wise to eat fish moderately, and avoid fish high in toxins like PCBs and mercury.